Cats&Grammar

Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Workmates

Posted on: 2017/02/11

Thursday last, as luck would have it, I worked from home whilst a nor’easter storm blew through my part of New England.

The dictionary’s definition of this kind of storm is, “is a macro-scale cyclone. The name derives from the direction of the strongest winds—as an offshore air mass rotates counterclockwise, winds tend to blow northeast-to-southwest over the region covered by the northwest quadrant of the cyclone.” What it means in plain (New England) English is, “wicked windy, snowy, and ya can’t see shit!

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No filter, folks! The storm’s turned the day all shades of grey.

Smart people tend to stay in on these days. Those that don’t find  themselves in traffic snarls that will extend their typical commute from minutes to hours. Visibility is terrible, the road surfaces are worse, and no one – no matter how many years driving in this type of weather – actually remembers how to drive competently. We New Englanders, while generally quite intelligent, sometimes forget that the warning is for us, too. Out we go, trusting our hardy natures and snow savvy…. and get ourselves into trouble too.  Snow brings out stupidity in the most sensible of people.  Hence, my working from home.

My bosses prefer that I be a) alive and b) productive on such days rather than stressed trying to get back and forth to the office.  I give them a lot of credit. I remember my early days in corporate culture, when bosses weren’t as thoughtful. Instead, they expected us at our desks, on time, for the duration of the day, focused entirely on work.  That’s a tall order for a twenty-something who hasn’t quite adjusted to the fact that “snow days” are gone forever.

(For those unfamiliar with the term, schools would cancel classes on stormy days resulting in an unintended day off for the students. We thought they were a treat. Our parents thought they were evidence of Hell.)Moggie the Velcro Cat

Now that I am “a mature adult,”  one of the best things about working from home is having my furry babies close at hand. They have always been quite “helpful.” I once had a beautiful tortie/tabby mix named Mog who would act as supervisor or paperweight, whatever was necessary.

2014-02-27 20.21.44.jpgThistle was also a helpful hedgie. His remit seemed to be more security related, as he would pad back and forth across my desk, snuffling curiously at whatever was in his path. Here his is pictured proofreading for me.

My current kitty, Lexie, enjoys napping and providesIMG_6373.JPG white noise with her gentle purr so that I can drown out traffic noise and concentrate.

IMG_6484.JPGThis is Bramble’s first opportunity to lend a paw. He’s having a bit of trouble finding his niche, but I suspect he will find his role soon.

All and all, getting to spend a day doing what I normally do, but doing it from home, in my p.j.s, with my fuzzy friends, and without having to brave the elements is the best perk a boss could offer…

Now!  Back to work!!

Much like The Doctor, I, too, have always had a companion. Mine, however, tend to be of the furry, four-legged variety – namely cats, although dogs and other critters have played their parts as well.

My earliest real memory of our cats is of a handsome tuxedoed boy named Ralph; whom I insisted was really “Henrietta”. I was under the influence of the Mr. Rogers show and adored Henrietta Pussycat. Despite constant gentle reminders that Ralph was a boy cat, I insisted.  I vividly remember my brother (in the extreme exasperation only an eleven-year-old can muster) saying, “He’s a boy! Ask him his name, he’ll tell you.” I would look at the cat in question, and he would obliging croak, “Raaah-lllfff!)  Never mind.  He was Henrietta to me.  I was stubborn even at two.

The childhood cat I truly remember was a regal Siamese queen named T’ang.  She joined our household when neighbors of ours couldn’t keep her. I later found out that the couple in question had divorced and, rather than decide who should take custody of this beautiful girl, they decided to give her up.

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Our only cat to have her portrait painted; surely proof of royalty, no?

 Painting ©circa 1978 MEConway; photo ©2017 VLE

T’ang was a smart, funny-yet-dignified, gentle cat.  Gentle, that is, unless you were one of the neighborhood birds. My mum used to tell a story of a very pregnant (picture a small beer barrel with legs) cat launching her self from a sitting position on the ground, straight up eight feet into the air to narrowly miss a passing blue jay.  Mum knew it had to be eight feet because the cat came level with the pantry window….

She gave us two litters of kittens.  Both were planned (or so we though) matings  with a neighbour’s Siamese tom, Kimba. The first litter yielded six kittens including Sam, who went to live with my Auntie Ruth and Uncle Maurice.  Sam shared his mother’s looks and his father’s curiously endearing habit of nibbling one’s nose. The second litter yielded three charming Siamese kits and … three tabby cats.  Yes, folks, at the tender age of five, I learned about superfecundation (my mum was brilliant and didn’t believe in hiding facts\truth about nature.)  We named the three boys Ike, Mike, and Monkey Face.  Though I begged for them to remain with us, they were ultimately given away.

After that litter, we had our beautiful girl spayed, but her mothering days were not over. She became the surrogate mom for all the pets acquired in her 18-year reign.  To cats and dogs alike, she was the non-human monarch of our wee kingdom.  She especially fostered My-Lin (called My-My because of his funny little meow.)  My-My came to us as a barely weaned kitten – and I mean barely, I don’t think he’s actually been weaned – from a friend of my brother.  He’s worthy of his own post, so I’ll stop his story here for now.

I adored T’ang.  Her elegance and grace has not matched by any feline companion since. She is, for me, truly an ancestress of Bast.

 

Lots of credit and a heartfelt “thank you” to Samantha of samanthamurdochblog.  Her blog is an enjoyable, special treat.  Her style is bright and clear – a positive oasis in this peculiar world we live in.  Vivid stories of her “girls” – cats Charlie, Lily, and Tooty & Ting combine with interesting information about crystals, reminiscences, short stories.  A remarkable place to visit. Through the comments, we have shared our kinship of cats among other things. She encourages me to tell my pets’ stories, and my own, with a generous, graceful spirit.

(However, I am inspired by cats.)>^^<

Nothing has ever intrigued a cat more

Than something as simple as a half-opened door.

Her tail just quivers. Her whiskers quake,

As she ponders and muses on the mischief she’ll make.

Just what could there be behind that portal?

Perhaps cobblies or woozlies or something mere mortal?

Curiosity raised, she creeps toward the door.

Her body stretched out hugging close to the floor.

She pounces and bats a mighty swipe with her paw.

The door slowly opens. Can you guess what she saw?

A room bright and cheery with sunshine galore,

A place she had left merely moments before.

(c) 2010 Victoria Lyn Ellsworth

Welcome! Come on in. Settle down. Let’s get to know one another.  I’ll start.

I am a woman, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, Bostonian, paralegal, writer, reader, massage therapist, musician, individual, 40-something-Anglophilic-Aries-auriliophile.

Why have I named my blog Cats & Grammar? I love cats. All cats: big cats, small cats, wild cats, demented cats (of which there have been quite a few in my life), fat cats, skinny cats, and most of all, MY cats.  And, I love words. I love languages. Language is fun. Grammar and usage is my geeky pleasure.

Beyond cats and grammar, I am passionate about life, love, music, learning, hedgehogs, children, reading, travel – especially to Great Britain – and so much more.

I plan to use this blog to explore things that rouse my curiosity and pass along things I’ve learned. Occasionally, there will be the odd creative piece of writing. I leave the defining of “odd” up to you, Dear Reader.

Please visit often and let me know you’ve stopped by with comment – whether a simple hello or a bit of constructive criticism – I’m looking forward to the conversation.


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